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|Index||19 reviews in total|
This movie hits the right note with both a compelling story and
interesting characters. Writer, director and lead actor Martin
Papazian's film packs an emotional punch without being maudlin or
making you feel like your emotions have been manipulated.
The story is focused on the young war veteran, but doesn't stray into larger political issues. I found that refreshing in this political season. Instead, this is an intimate portrayal of human struggle, and Papazian imbues the lead character Anthony Hayward with the right level of emotion. Papazian has one of two breakout performances in the film. For me, the best films are those that show believable character development, and Papazian's portrayal is immensely satisfying.
The other performance I loved was by Tristan Lake Leabu who plays 10 year old Wade, Hayward's next door neighbor. I'm convinced Tristan is headed for a stellar career. There's a lot of emotion in his role, and a lesser actor would have over played it. You can see pain, a sense of isolation, and fear in his eyes.
The intimate feel of this film was enhanced by director of photography Guy Skinner and his hand-held camera work, known to most of us from his work on the TV series "24".
At the premier in Santa Monica, Martin Papazian said the story is a composite of experiences told to him by war vets. He listened.
Independent films often don't get noticed because of limited distribution. Moviegoers don't know if a film is worth driving to. If you get a chance, see this film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A man suffering the absurdity of life, ends up finding something
meaningful in existence by caring for an Orphaned child by
The critics who reviewed this movie are tragic, Plainly most people rated this movie, ten out of ten. Only men so far rated this movie one out of ten. If you take a look at the critics reviews, and look at the scoring this is really about how some men can not relate whatsoever in empathy, neither have the ability to relate as they do not develop attachments to anything other than themselves, and thus have no ability to understand this movie. As the critics claim this man suffers self pity, which he does not suffer at all.
He suffers the absurdity of life, that meaningless existence, to which people died and suffered in a meaningless matter, to which he has nothing meriting his own existence. Then through happenstance he ends up caring for an Orphaned child that has also suffered loss.
The story is not about a veteran, he happens to be a veteran, but the trauma of his life is about the meaninglessness of life to which he finds meaning caring for a child.
It is a simple Drama about a man willing to find some meaning in life by caring for an orphaned child , and it is a wonderful little simple story.
This was a heartfelt film is about two people one war vet and a young boy trying to heal after dealing with tragic loss. The story was very well written and the performances were outstanding. It was played so well that I could really feel the characters' pain and struggle becoming instantly involved. I especially enjoyed the chemistry between the boy and the war vet. The supporting characters also have their own stories as they relate to the two main characters (the boy and the soldier). There was a large continuum of emotion as the story played out, I cried but also found myself laughing out loud a few times as well. The cinematography and scenery were very entertaining and the close attention to details whether it be emotion, scenes, or fabric detail. Most of all, I enjoyed the message of the film as well as the human connection. I highly recommend this movie and look forward to seeing it again.
Loved this movie! The relationships have depth. The unwinding of the
story is engaging from start to finish. Don't want to give a lot away,
but it was compelling in my opinion, and well, well worth it. I thought
the acting was very solid. Sometimes when you put "popular" stars in
movies like this, it's just not believable. I think the cast was
perfect for the characters, and helped make me believe.
No real downside for me. I'm know I could nitpick it apart, but for me movies are kinda pass or fail. The boy in the story is a character that is all too real in society today. It made me watch the case worker critically, and I think she did an excellent job unwinding her character as well.
Definitely strong language, so be aware of that.
This is a very well written story about a war vet trying really hard to
get his life back on track. In some ways, failing miserably, but he
keeps trying. Everything about this story felt very raw and authentic.
Great acting. Highly recommend! It was nice to see something positive
happen from so much negative.
Martin Papazian, Laura San Giacomo and Tristan Lake Leabu all give great performances. Taylor Kinney was a nice surprise. Charles S Dutton was excellent as well.
No clichés or formulas here. Just real, flawed people making a lot of mistakes for all the right reasons. I cried a lot. This movie really hit me several times.
I would love to see more from Martin Papazian! He's a very talented writer, actor and director.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is Martin Papazian's first feature film as director and since he's
the lead actor as well as the one who wrote the screenplay, the onus or
credit for this movie's success was on him. The story is a compelling
one, and it was based on it that I took a chance on this indie film, a
chance I don't mind urging you to take as well.
You will recognize veteran actors Laura San Giacomo and Charles S. Dutton as strong support cast; both did a splendid job in their respective roles as Child Protective Services agent Jolene and George the sheriff. The former is, at first, a cold hearted and bitter sounding bureaucrat while the other is sympathetic and supportive toward Anthony, the character played by Papazian. Anthony, a Marine Vet, recently arrived from his tour of duty in Afghanistan, and promptly discharged, suffers from PTSD; well I viewed it simply as completely guilt-ridden and experiencing nightmares and daytime flashbacks of an event that marked him. He killed by mistake a family, innocent people, including a child whose face haunts now him. His marriage went south fast because he did not cope well with his PTSD and his ex felt she could not live with him any longer, though both still loved each other, in their own way. Anthony was doomed for self destruction until his deep core values prompted him to, one night, help neighbor who came to him for help; that neighbor was a young teen, Wade, played quite well by fourteen year old Tristan Lake Leabu. Wade was the child of a drug addicted single mother, for whom he sought Anthony's help as she overdosed. Needless to say, the kid had issues. Anthony promised to help Wade; that included finding his father, if he could be found. When Marine Anthony makes a promise, he keeps it, regardless of the potential trouble. A bond developed between the two and it was that bond that would be both their salvage.
Papazian, who's had steady work over the years as actor, acquitted himself well for such a demanding role; he can now showcase this film in his portfolio and I think this may be the boost his career needed. I won't hesitate suggesting the movie to friends who might be interested by the plot.
A moving story that is not sugar coated and deals with the many issues that veterans returning home from war experience but often not understood. They are casualties of war. I highly recommend taking the time to see this important film that was written with humanity & compassion. All the actors in this film were fantastic!! I really enjoyed the Q & A following the film with Martin Papazian, Writer/Director/Actor & Guy Skinner , Cinematograher!!! We also got to meet an important character in this movie, Milo! This allowed the audience to get the story behind the story from Mr. Papazian and his motivation for writing such a compelling story!
I saw this movie last night, and I loved it!! This is a fabulous story, very well told, of an Iraq war veteran's life after he completes his military service. His struggles are hard, and of a nature that the far majority of us only read about. But, true to real life, he finds he's not alone in facing the truly heavy burdens of life, and though the struggles of others aren't from the same origin as his, the parallels that can be drawn between the different lives and worlds are logical, natural and yet, stark. The flow of the movie, the characters and their portrayals are excellent, I was engaged from the beginning. The story is realistic, true-to-life, and very touching. Even the film-making, the camera angles and attention to technique were skillfully planned and executed. It all combines to make a very real, moving, deeply thought-provoking film. I encourage everyone to see it!!
If there were any justice in the world...and who knows outside
Hollywood and the idiot Critics who populate it maybe there is...this
movie would have dominated the Academy Awards in the year it was
Great script, great director, great cinemaphotographer, great soundtrack, and wonderful actors to boot.
Better yet it manages to sidestep totally all the usual trite Hollywood BS and get right to the heart of things. From first scene to last it is blissfully free of the all the usual formulaic crap that allows even the most dim witted critic to have plenty to say...based not upon actually having stayed awake for the whole movie, but rather relying totally upon ideas memorized in Movie Critic Class in college.
If I sound angry it's because I am! Simply put within seconds of watching this great movie I came here to this site confident that I would encounter rave reviews written by critics hungry for something real and authentic. Instead I found just more the same limp wristed BS that so typifies so much of the garbage populating the movie critic scene these days.
Please ignore all that and treat yourself to one of the best movies you've seen in years!
An raw refreshing talent, good looking, and old school masculine style.
Much more interesting than the pretty metro-sexual clone leading men we
see all the time delivering the same tired faux-macho, insecure,
I'm sure we will be seeing more of Papazian. SanGiacomo was outstanding as well.
A scene with a fatally injured pet reveals true love and respect towards animals from Papazian, a nice animal rights message, something usually treated with weak sentimentality and flip narratives delivered by other directors.
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